■ Cost of living rising
Vietnam's blistering economic growth is attracting foreign investors, but the boom is proving costly for households, which face big rises in the price of basic products such as rice. Consumer prices rose 9.34 percent year-on-year this month, after an 8.8 percent increase last month, the General Statistics Office said. The alarm bells grew louder last week as the national assembly seized on the issue, with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung saying: "We want a higher economic growth and a lower inflation rate." The price of food -- 40 percent of the basket of goods used to calculate Vietnam's inflation rate -- rose 13.94 percent this month.
Strike forces delays
A strike by Air France flight attendants left frustrated passengers facing delays and cancellations for a fourth day yesterday, with long-haul flights among the hardest hit. At Paris's main Charles de Gaulle airport, passengers crowded around check-in counters hoping that their flights would be called. Air France had estimated that 60 percent of its flights would take off yesterday, with the figure rising to 70 percent today. The strike is planned to continue until at least midnight. Unions representing flight attendants launched the strike on Thursday to demand better pay and conditions.
Lack of supply hits China
Record world oil prices are forcing Chinese petrol stations to close temporarily because of lack of supplies, state media said yesterday. Petrol stations were reported to be closing in the southern provinces of Guangdong and Fujian and in the central and eastern regions of Zhejiang, Shandong and Henan. "In recent days the demand and supply situation for oil products has been tight," the People's Daily Web site quoted a PetroChina official from Henan Province as saying. "The main reason is that international oil prices have reached record highs while domestic prices have not followed suit. This has seriously influenced the production activities of refiners."
Maersk to build ICD
Shipping company Maersk is to build an inland container depot (ICD) in Bangladesh to ease worsening congestion at the country's main port of Chittagong, an official said yesterday. Maersk Bangladesh Limited, a subsidiary of the Danish shipping giant, will construct the 10 hectare container depot at a cost of US$20 million next year, company deputy general manager Nurul Alam said. "We will to build the inland container depot outside Chittagong port. It has become critically important to build the ICD to avoid congestion at Chittagong port," he said.
Toymakers near agreement
The two largest US makers of toy trains are nearing a conclusion to a seven-year-old, multimillion-dollar lawsuit. Columbia, Maryland-based MTH Electric Trains has sued Lionel, a century-old brand, accusing it of stealing train designs through a Korean subcontractor. The dispute focused on patented computer technology that synchronizes a train set's sound, smoke and speed, critical technology in their small but competitive market. The agreement includes a cash payment from Lionel to MTH and an agreement on future technology uses. No further details were given.
SAFETY RISK: The government is working to categorize countries based on their COVID-19 cases and prevention efforts, which would determine quarantine periods The government plans to rank countries based on their COVID-19 risks to determine how to treat tourists and other travelers from those nations once Taiwan reopens its borders, but it is still working out the categories, a top health official told lawmakers yesterday. “We would divide countries around the world into several categories. One category would comprise those countries with very few confirmed COVID-19 cases, such as New Zealand and Palau. Travelers from the countries in this category would only need to practice self-health management,” Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) told a Legislative Yuan seminar hosted by
China would attack Taiwan if there is no other way of stopping it from becoming independent, Chinese General Li Zuocheng (李作成) said yesterday. Speaking at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on the 15th anniversary of China’s “Anti-Secession” Law, Li, who is chief of the Joint Staff Department of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Central Military Commission, left the door open to using force. The 2005 law is China’s legislative basis for military action against Taiwan. “If the possibility for peaceful reunification is lost, the people’s armed forces will, with the whole nation, including the people of Taiwan, take all necessary steps to
SECURITY CONCERNS: The Telecom Technology Center ran black-box tests for the Executive Yuan on devices and software from Chinese, US and South Korean firms Network devices from several Chinese manufacturers are insecure and allow personal information to be leaked, testing commissioned by the Executive Yuan has shown. A variety of devices and software, including apps, from Chinese, US and South Korean manufacturers that are used by government agencies at the central and local level were subjected to black-box testing — in which the functionality of an application is examined without knowing about its internal structure, an information-security official said yesterday on condition of anonymity. The Telecom Technology Center conducted the tests, which simulated cyberattacks, to determine their resilience to the attacks, the official said. The center
RELATIONSHIP ‘TERMINATED’: US Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that the president’s action was ‘an act of extraordinary senselessness,’ a tone Chinese media echoed US President Donald Trump on Friday announced that Washington would withdraw funding from the WHO, end Hong Kong’s special trade status and suspend visas of Chinese graduate students suspected of conducting research on behalf of their government. Trump said in a White House announcement that Chinese officials “ignored” their reporting obligations to the WHO and pressured the organization to mislead the public about the outbreak. “We have detailed the reforms that it must make and engaged with them directly, but they have refused to act,” he said. “Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will be